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Friday, June 27, 2008

summer reading 5

summer reading on the revgals site

Songbird brings us 5 about summer reading, introducing it with:
Back in the day, before I went to seminary, I worked in the Children's Room at the Public Library, and every year we geared up for Summer Reading. Children would come in and record the books read over the summer, and the season included numerous special and celebratory events. As a lifelong book lover and enthusiastic summer reader, I find I still accumulate a pile of books for the summer.
Although as a kid I was far more artist than reader, during my late elementary and junior high years I usually joined the library summer reading club and like Songbird, I worked at the library during HS and spent a fair amount of time shelving books in the children's room as well as doing a few story hours (prequel to a teaching/preaching ministry, maybe?) Here's my 5:

1) In general I don't read as much during the summer as during other seasons, though historically I've always loved summer school and almost always find a class to take even when I'm not in a formal program of study (meaning lots of reading and writing). Summer's not the best reading season for me mainly because of the strong pull of other activities.

2) I don't usually take reading other than magazines to the beach, though I always have a journal-notebook and sketchbook with me. However, I fell asleep more than once reading Jurgen Moltmann's The Church in the Power of the Spirit because I'd borrowed senior pastor's copy and he wanted it back in a hurry. BTW, Moltmann is one of my favorite theologians; it's just that the sun, sand and ocean air tend to make me lazily sleepy.

3) My favorite childhood and adolescent books, summer or any season, always were the ones with appealing illustrations. Though as an adult I've become very much a word/Word person, I'd still claim the artist-designer in me usually stays front and center.

4) Usually Better Homes & Gardens and graphic design type mags are my best summer reading rather than books.

5) My next book probably will be one from the short stack I got from Amazon a couple months ago. Not sure which one...

Friday, June 20, 2008

summer in the city 5


summer in the city 5 from the RevGals

From Singing Owl, who begins with:
This post...comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."

early june music cover
Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:
This just may be the very best Friday 5 ever! I'll open by linking to Streetlife, a poem I wrote during summer 2000 collaging some of my urban experiences over quite a few years and I'm posting the portfolio piece I did a few weeks ago. My design blog doesn't qualify for the ring, so most likely few of you have seen this CD cover and back:

early june music playlist

on to the questions...


1. rooftop

How much space do I have and how much reading time does everyone have? Here are two, though: 1) I found a video of James Taylor live singing Carol King and Gerry Goffin's Up On The Roof. 2) As an undergrad I live in the high-density, ultra-urban North End of Boston where during the summer we'd often spend time on the roof tanning, talking, studying, writing and listening to music.

2. gritty

Exactly as the song says, my skin and feet after a few hours of searing heat and high humidity. Then, of course, wherever, whenever, we gotta get to the nitty-gritty of life and everything.

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words)

Walking out the door around 7:00 am and the sidewalk rises up and hits you. In my opinion "hot town" particularly evokes the combination of excessive heat and humidity typical of towns like Chicago, New York and Boston rather than the Southwest, Intermountain West or Southern California or any of the southern states, though they sure do get steamily hot.

4. night

Out on the town for dinner or a concert; summer picnics on the beach or patio; tough sleeping because of the heat? Any of those plus countless others.

5. dance

What I always want to do year-round, but maybe especially street dancing to local bands at neighborhood food and craft events.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

beach trip 5

Today Mother Laura asks...

...in honor of summer, please share your own memories, plans, and dream with a Beach Trip Friday 5
My image is a scrapbook page featuring a photo of my grandparent's house and a pic of the flower garden, a Susan Branch drawing that looks sort of like me and assorted blandishments.
1. Ocean rocks, lake limps or...

Ocean! oCEAN! OcEaN! ocean! OCEAN!!!!! etc.....

2. Year round beach living...Heaven or the Other Place?

Harwich 05a
Depends. Urban beach living, maybe, depending on where and how. I've lived within a short walk of urban, suburban and rural beaches though not on the beach, so that's probably the best compromise. Currently I'm 15-20 minutes away and that's cool, also. I love knowing it's there, but during the warm months *our* beaches actually are far too crowded, so walking on the sand alongside Ocean Pacific in the off-season is a great activity. Seems as if I mentioned both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in last week's 5!

3. Any beach plans for this summer?
Not yet, but I'll blog when they happen.

4. Best beach memory ever?

Endless memories of so many beaches and experiences thereof and thereon! One of them in particular haunts (in the sense of wanting to duplicate the time or at least the experience today in 2008) me every single day; that's the week I spent right on the beach in the town of Truro on lower Cape Cod, where we'd walking out the door right onto the sand. A classmate's family rented the same house every year and we made almost nightly excursions into nearby Provincetown. I'll also mention the summer I worked for a family with three kids as an au pair in Nahant, Massachusetts. The house was right across from the beach and that summer was quite good in almost every way.

5. Fantasy beach trip?

Maybe simply a few more late weekday afternoon/early evening summer picnic potlucks on La Jolla Shores. I can't think of anything fancier or more elaborate right now, especially considering that I was astonished to discover F5 posted so early—I'd gone over to read ATM, which can wait until tomorrow.

bonus: a piece of music/poetry/film/book expressing something about what the beach means to you.

Henry Beston's book about The Outermost House—I never visited it, but loved the book and wept when I heard the outermost house had washed out to sea. For a few others, Crosby, Stills and Nash, "Southern Cross" (you don't really need or want an exegesis of any of this, do you?); Bob Dylan's "When the Ship Comes In"; "Rock me on the Water" by Jackson Browne (I think); Handel's Water Music, though I'm familiar only with the suite; Karla Bonoff singing her own "Faces in the Wind"; more to come...

thanks so much, Laura!

Friday, June 06, 2008

5 views from paradise

Friday 5 about taking in the view from the revgals

Sally brings us today's Friday 5 ideas:

1. about the big picture, as much as everyone needs a broader view amidst everyday grunginess, in many ways my ability to see panoramically (at least when I force myself to do so) has kept me from admitting how many of the small and crucial details have disintegrated or at least are not okay.

2. my primary challenge is to sufficiently admit 'this is very definitely not okay, so not what I'd planned or intended in the least' without constantly acknowledging stuff that's gone well in spite of everything else and without my usual explanation of how God has waited very patiently for every one of us. Hey, folks, we're living within finite time, and need to be faithful! That was another obscure statement, but my guess is most women and a lot of guys understand exactly what I'm saying. sea cools

3. As Sally exclaimed, one....what am I thinking.... for a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to another dimension, playing or listening to almost anything by Beethoven—how about his Symphony No. 7?

4. A physical view that inspires and helps me 'breathe more easily' and regain perspective has to be at least two, the Pacific Ocean down the street from here (I love the Atlantic, too, but the Pacific seems vaster, broader, more extensive and placidly, peacefully pacific—the Atlantic can become so wild and out of control in a storm!) and, of course, the hot desert anywhere. When I lived in the Intermountain West I'd often feel a little hemmed in and even mildly claustrophobic in the valley, but driving up the canyons and viewing vast vistas helped lots with perspective, too.

5. For lack of time to search for anything else, I've included one of my Ocean Pacific impressions I called "Sea Cools."